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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Binosto, Fosamax

Generic Name: alendronate (Pronunciation: a LEN dro nate)

What is alendronate (Binosto, Fosamax)?

Alendronate is in the group of medicines called bisphosphonates (bis FOS fo nayts). It alters the cycle of bone formation and breakdown in the body. Alendronate slows bone loss while increasing bone mass, which may prevent bone fractures.

Alendronate is used in men and women to treat or prevent osteoporosis that is caused by menopause or by taking steroids. Alendronate is also used to increase bone mass in men who have osteoporosis, and to treat Paget's disease of bone in men and women.

Alendronate may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Alendronate 10 mg-APO

round, white, imprinted with APO, A10

Alendronate 10 mg-MYL

round, white, imprinted with A7, M

Alendronate 10 mg-TEV

round, white, imprinted with 93, 5141

Alendronate 35 mg-APO

oval, white, imprinted with APO, ALE 35

Alendronate 35 mg-MYL

oblong, white, imprinted with M A11

Alendronate 35 mg-TEV

square, white, imprinted with 93, 5172

Alendronate 35mg-WAT16252

oval, white, imprinted with AN35, LOGO

Alendronate 40 mg-TEV

oval, white, imprinted with 93, 5142

Alendronate 5 mg-APO

round, white, imprinted with A, 5

Alendronate 5 mg-MYL

round, white, imprinted with AG, M

Alendronate 5 mg-TEV

round, white, imprinted with 93, 5140

Alendronate 70 mg-APO

oval, white, imprinted with APO, ALE 70

Alendronate 70 mg-MYL

oblong, white, imprinted with M A12

Alendronate 70 mg-TEV

square, white, imprinted with 93, 5171

Alendronate 70mg-BAR

oval, white, imprinted with b 70, 720

Fosamax 10 mg

oblong, white, imprinted with MRK, 936

Fosamax 35 mg

oval, white, imprinted with LOGO BONE, 77

Fosamax 40 mg

triangular, white, imprinted with FOSAMAX, MRK 212

Fosamax 5 mg

round, white, imprinted with LOGO BONE, MRK 925

Fosamax 70 mg

oval, white, imprinted with LOGO BONE, 31

What are the possible side effects of alendronate (Binosto, Fosamax)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using alendronate and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • chest pain;
  • difficulty or pain when swallowing;
  • pain or burning under the ribs or in the back;
  • severe heartburn, burning pain in your upper stomach, or coughing up blood;
  • new or worsening heartburn;
  • fever, body aches, flu symptoms;
  • severe joint, bone, or muscle pain;
  • new or unusual pain in your thigh or hip;
  • jaw pain, numbness, or swelling.

Less serious side effects may include:

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about alendronate (Binosto, Fosamax)?

Do not take an alendronate tablet if you cannot sit upright or stand for at least 30 minutes. Alendronate can cause serious problems in the stomach or esophagus (the tube that connects your mouth and stomach). You will need to stay upright for at least 30 minutes after taking this medication.

Take the alendronate tablet first thing in the morning, at least 30 minutes before you eat or drink anything or take any other medicine.

Take each dose with a full glass (6 to 8 ounces) of water. Use only plain water (not mineral water, coffee, tea, or juice) when taking an alendronate tablet.

For at least the first 30 minutes after taking an alendronate tablet, do not lie down or recline; do not eat or drink anything other than plain water; and do not take any other medicines including vitamins, calcium, or antacids.

Some people using medicines similar to alendronate have developed bone loss in the jaw, also called osteonecrosis of the jaw. Symptoms may include jaw pain, swelling, numbness, loose teeth, gum infection, or slow healing after injury or surgery involving the gums. You may be more likely to develop osteonecrosis of the jaw if you have cancer or have been treated with chemotherapy, radiation, or steroids. Other conditions associated with osteonecrosis of the jaw include blood clotting disorders, anemia (low red blood cells), and a pre-existing dental problem.

If you need to have any dental work (especially surgery), tell the dentist ahead of time that you are using alendronate. You may need to stop using the medicine for a short time.

Talk with your doctor about the risks and benefits of using this medication.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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